Declan's preschool Christmas Pageant was Monday night. And here, in a fit of unwonted alacrity, I already have pictures from the fiasco. I mean event.
The kids spend the weeks prior to the show preparing during their classes, and it all culminates in a spectacle that lasts no more than 15 minutes. What would you expect from a room full of 20 or so four and five year-olds? Herding kittens would be more productive.
Here are some pictures.
Sitting in the pews of the church, Tavish gets all excited about the impending festivities. And I realise there is leftover mustard still on his face. (What can I say? He likes mustard and ketchup with his celery.)
Bath time Sunday night, and the boys had watched the sadly disappointing Clone Wars DVD after dinner.
Dex says to me from in the tub, "Daddy, what Star Wars guy do you wanna be?"
"Well, Son," I reply after careful consideration, "I think I'd like to be Han Solo. Is that OK?"
"And what Star Wars character do you want to be?"
"Um, I think I want to be Anakin."
I look at him a little sideways. "Well, OK. Just don't go and turn to the dark side on me, all right?"
As I walk out of the bathroom he replies to my back, "Don't worry, Daddy, I won't."
Kids in the bath right now and Tavish is calling me rather plaintively.
"Dad? Daaaa-deee? DAD!!"
Declan admonishes him: "Tavish, you have to call him 'Obi Wan Kenobi' because right now he wants to be Obi Wan Kenobi. Here, I'll show you. OBI WAN!!"
I answer obediently from the living room. "Yes, my young padawans?" (We finished watching one of the Clone Wars DVDs between dinner and bath time. I train them young, you see.)
Dex sits in the bathtub in what I can only assume (from experience) is a very smug position. "You see, Tav? You try it." Apparently, they're training me as well. Only fair I guess.
But what I really came here to talk to you about was comics. Specifically, webcomics. I gave up the funny papers years ago because, frankly, they suck. (Whither The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes?) Dilbert is pretty much the only decent syndication left, and I read that online now too. So, following are the webcomics to which I subscribe and why. Maybe you'll like them too. I don't know. Maybe they'll provide some further insight into the fabulous and unique persona that is me.
A four-panel comic that purports to offer instructions on how to handle typical every-day events. But with a rather outlandish element of flair. The outlandishness, all too often, is grounded in the author's real life experience. Like the time he was watching Iron Chef, and the day's secret ingredient was... piglets. You can't make that stuff up. The strip stars himself, his wife and various other real life and fictitious characters. It's currently one of my favourites. Anything that can slip in "ROFG" (rolling on floor grieving) and have me in stitches is gonna go far.
This website started offering the comic called Order of the Stick. A stereotypical Dungeons & Dragons adventure drawn as stick figures. It plays really well on making jokes about the gaming genre as well as poking fun at topical subjects less frequently. The writing is really top notch (especially if you're into gaming) and the continuous story arc helps keep me coming back.
The site also, more recently, added Erfworld, the Battle for Gobwin Knob. See, there's this fat tween gaming master who starts up a D&D session with his chums, and he suddenly gets sucked into the world he's created. He finds himself set up as a warlord for the ostensible bad guys in a world populated by gobwins, spidews, dwagons, Charlie's Archons, giant teddy bears that push siege engines, and various (even weirder) beings. Somehow, Elvis is going to play into it, but we haven't gotten there yet. Intriguing; not quite as good as Order of the Stick, but engaging.
The only thing regular about this is its posting frequency. Every single weekday, at the exact same time every day. It's composed of photo frames of mostly Lego sets with dialogue bubbles 'shopped in. Definitely one of the geekiest comics I read (he says after posting two consecutive D&D comics), but it's not always that funny. The author often writes great (and lengthy) annotations explaining some of the content of the comic (often very science-y). Those, and the random polls he posts, keep my interest.
By the same author as Irregular Webcomic, this is an ongoing project taking film frames from the Star Wars prequel movies and COMPLETELY re-writing the dialogue as if it were a gaming session being played by D&D geeks. (You see a theme here, don't you?) It's nearing the end of Phantom Menace right now, and the plan is to do the other two films as well.
Definitely the most tasteless comic I subscribe to. Resulting in (sometimes) the greatest hilarity. Occasionally it just makes me think how somebody could have come up with that crap. Not for the prudish.
My most recent find, so I haven't fully formed an opinion on it, but it seems pretty darned good so far. If the linked content is anything typical, it's going to be a keeper for sure.
This, my friends, is the sine qua non of webcomics. Self described as "A webcomic of Romance, Sarcasm, Math, and Language." It's the best out there, and the author, although a physics grad from MIT, actually makes his living selling stuff from the associated online store. Give it a shot.
I was also hoping to link the now defunct Perry Bible Fellowship, even though the author has stopped writing the comic, because the archive was chock full of comicky goodness. But alas, the page doesn't load for me.
If you have your own suggestions for any comics not mentioned that might be up my alley, I'd be happy to head over and take a look.
I got a little unbent at my wife the other night. Nothing that Amy did, I just needed to vent a little and she was sitting innocently at the kitchen table, ready to absorb a random barrage of Simon's venial annoyances. It had to do with music.
I think there's finally a song extant to usurp Alanis Morissette's long-held number one position atop my list of Worst Grammatical Offenders in music. I don't even know what the name of the goddamn thing is, and I can't be bothered to spend the five minutes it would take to search the thing on teh internets. It's that annoying to me.
I don't even know what most of the lyrics are, even though I've heard it a couple dozen times on the radio. That's because I can't get out of my head the part that scrapes its fingernails down the chalkboard of my English pedantry.
The very short bit goes thus: "Are we human... or are we dancer?"
That's it. That's all I can recall from the song. On top of that, the singer performs it in a voice that is a sort of soporific lament to existential angst, which only exacerbates the grammatical travesty. The combination of those two factors makes me want to jam a sharpened No. 2 pencil into each ear and burn Stephen King books to keep alive my guttering hatred for blatant language abuses in the name of art. (Nothing against King's books; his name just goes well with the pencil-in-ear scenario.)
Referring to "we" as a single dancer somehow grates against my entire being, and I can't quite place why that is. "Dancer" should be plural, obviously. Dancers. Then the line would scan just fine. "We" can all be human, speaking about mankind as a race. Or "we" can be humans, individually. Either of those is fine. But "we" can only ever be dancers; we can never be dancer.
If I ever start up a rock band, I plan to call it "Strunk & White".
OK, fine, I looked it up on YouTube.
I'm sitting here on the couch in the living room watching Rocky III while the boys are in bed and Amy's at work. It's Wednesday, and that means it's wing Wednesday after work for my wife. She'll go to the bar, eat hot wings, have a couple pops, and climb into bed rubbing her cold butt on me some time after midnight.
I figured it would be a good night to update on recent goings on around here.
Oktoberfest was last weekend, and every year since the first year I went with my wife has been better than that one. I promised to pace myself this year and mostly managed to do that. I only fell down once, at the end of the night, when one of my more influential friends, already under the aegis of a good helping of barley sandwiches, stood up, grinned blankly, and uttered three of the most catastrophic words any drunk man can fall victim to: "Let's get shots!"
I don't know whose idea it was, but it was tequila shots.
It was mostly a good night.
We booked a trip to Mexico in February. Ever since our Cuba vacation last year, Amy and I have developed a hankering for beach resorts and child abandonment. When one's kids are two and four, those things go great together. I can't wait.
Amy's going to Vegas this weekend. The last woman in our group of "Superfriends" is getting married, and the stagette is going to be epic. Apparently. They have tickets to see Madonna in concert, and I've heard rumours that there will be an entire day spent at the Victoria's Secret outlet.
(It's round three of the second fight now -- the one where Rocky comes back and kicks Mr. T's ass. I can't believe how bad this is.)
I donated plasma today, as I try to do on a weekly basis. (With fair to middlin' success.) It was my 99th donation, so I'm kinda stoked to hit the magic 100 mark next week. There was a local guy who got on the news a couple months back for having made his 800th donation. I figure if I can average 40 donations a year, I can hit that in 18 more years. Then I can hit 1,000 before I turn 57. It's good to have goals.
The only downside to our impending trip to Mexico - where our resort is located on the Mayan Riviera - is that the locale is cited as a risk zone for malaria. That means I have to take a six month hiatus from donating after we get back. I figure that my (and, more importantly, my wife's) relative happiness trumps my sense of altruistic obligation.
I am pleased that Obama won the election, largely because I don't have to be exposed any longer to the national embarrassment that is Sarah Palin. If McCain had spoken as sincerely and eloquently during his campaign as he did during his concession speech, things may have gone differently. Unlike in Top Gun, this time around, the Ice Man did better than the Maverick.
Mythbusters is on now. So I should go.
So here we are on October 32nd, the fateful day of Oktoberfest. (Wherein, if you are not familiar, my wife and I descend upon Edmonton's Shaw Conference Centre with 5,000 of our closest friends for a night of Beer, Bratwurst, and drunken deBauchery.)
Dear (erstwhile) readers,
More content and a new banner coming soon to this space. Honest.
But first, for your edification, a thorough understanding of the cause of the financial crisis plaguing the US and affecting all the rest of us. Reading this linked article will only take you two minutes, and it's written from the perspective of Pokémon as explained to a 14 year-old girl.
I feel smarter already, and it's not even 9 am.
... are often the best.
I bathe Declan and Tavish together every night (because it's more efficient), and they always sit in the same spots: Dex a little higher in the shallow end and Tav down in the deeper end by the drain.
Tavish regularly complains of a sore bum during and just after his bath, but never at any other time. It is a conumdrum that has stymied me, but to which I have given very little thought outside of the bathing arena. The solution presented itself one night last week, and he hasn't had a sore bum since.
The conversation went something a little like this:
Tav: Daddy, my bum is sore."
Si: "Again, Tav? Why is it always sore?"
Tav: "Don' know!"
He smiled after saying that, and wiggled his bum a little back and forth.
That's when the light bulb went off in my head.
Si: "Hey Tav, are you sitting on top of the drain plug, and rubbing your anus on the plug puller part?"
Si: "Well, if you stop doing that, you won't have a sore bum any more."
Tav: "Oh. OK!"